Living in the Dark (but not so cold)

I’m back from a short vacation in southern California, most of which was unrelated to astronomy, but we spent a couple of days in Borrego Springs, which is a designated Dark Sky Community.  It’s also in the middle of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which recently became a Dark Sky Park.  Using what is called a Sky Quality Meter (I call it a “dark meter” – sort of the opposite of a light meter) I got readings of 21.1 to 21.3 around town.  That’s close to the darkness at most of the dark sky sites I go to in the […]

Horsehead and Flame Nebulae (Barnard 33 and NGC2024)

Buy a Print This was one of my first successful targets and this version was captured in late 2012 to get the benefit of the better equipment (and maybe skills) I have acquired since the early days. This was captured at a dark sky site, but using a narrowband hydrogen-alpha filter for the red channel. The Horsehead is a “dark nebula”, meaning that the shape we see is formed by clouds of dust blocking light from behind it. It is located in the constellation Orion. The brightest star seen here (Alnitak) is the left side of Orion’s belt. The nebula […]